CH 220059-RT
                                  STATE OF NEW YORK
                            OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                     GERTZ PLAZA
                               92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                               JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433

          APPEALS OF                             DOCKET NO. CH 220059-RT &
                                                 CI 210264-RO (refile of 
                                                 CH 210051-RO) 

               James Mann (tenant), and       :  DISTRICT RENT OFFICE
               Asher Hiesiger (owner),           DOCKET NO. K 3104233-RT/
                                                            CDR 33696
                                  PETITIONERS : 

                            REOPENING AND RECONSIDERATION

          The above-named petitioners,tenant and owner, filed  and  refiled
          timely Petitions for Administrative Review of an order issued  on
          July 12, 1988 by a District Administrator concerning the  housing
          accommodations  known  as  862  Union   Street,   Apartment   4F,
          Brooklyn, New York.  The petitions have been consolidated.

          The tenant, who took occupancy on July 1, 1980 pursuant to a  one
          year lease at a rent of $400.00, filed a complaint of  overcharge
          and a fair market rent appeal on  March  31,  1984.   A  complete
          rental history was submitted in the course of the proceeding.

          The herein  appealed  order  of  the  Rent  Administrator,  after
          finding that  a  fair  market  rent  appeal  was  not  warranted,
          established the tenant's initial regulated rent at $303.95 as  of
          July 1, 1980, updated it to $405.92  as  of  July  1,  1986,  and
          directed a refund of $11,740.02 in overcharges including interest 
          on overcharges after April 1, 1984.

          The order was based on the above-noted  rental  history  and,  in
          substance,  reflected  findings  that  the  lease  rents  of  the
          complainant tenant, and the  prior  tenant,  were  in  excess  of
          guideline adjustments over earlier rents.

          In his petition, the owner alleges that the rents charged by  the
          prior owner to two earlier tenants were considerably  lower  than
          those allowable under the guidelines and urges  that,  as  a  new
          owner, he should be permitted  to  recalculate  those  rents  and
          charge subsequent tenants accordingly.  He further urges that  he
          is somehow "being held responsible for overcharges caused by  the
          previous owner" in violation of Section 2526.1(f) of the  current

          In his petition, the tenant urges:

               "Damages should be trebled.  Owner failed to  show  lack

          CH 220059-RT
               of willfulness . . . in overcharges made  against  Jacob
               Toby [the immediately prior  tenant]  (effective  dates,
               11/11/78 and 12/1/79."

          On October 1, 1990 the Commissioner issued an order  and  opinion
          denying the owner's petition and granting the  tenant's  petition
          by  further   imposing   treble   damages   and   modifying   the
          Administrator's order accordingly.

          With  respect  to  the  owner's  petition  the  Commissioner,  in
          substance, noted that guideline adjustments are to be computed on 
          rents actually charged not rents which might  have  been  charged
          and rejected the owner's attempt to blame the overcharges on  the
          prior owner.

          With respect to the tenant's  petition,  the  Commissioner  found
          that,  the  owner  did  not,  in  fact,  demonstrate   that   the
          overcharges were not willful noting that,  even  were  the  owner
          given the benefit of his arguments respecting recalculating prior 
          rents, there would still have been overcharges as to this tenant. 
          Further, the owner did not  promptly  reduce  the  rent  or  make
          refunds upon receipt of the tenant's complaint.

          Subsequently on  October  31,  1990,  another  order  was  issued
          reopening the proceeding because it appeared  that  a  letter  of
          July 31, 1990 supplementing the owner's petition had not  reached
          the record, and because the tenant's  petition  had  been  served
          only on the  owner's  former  managing  agent.   A  copy  of  the
          tenant's petition was thereafter specifically served on the owner 
          in care of his attorneys.

          Both parties were afforded opportunities to  respond  and  submit
          additional arguments which they did.

          In the above-noted supplement to his  petition  the  owner  urged
          that the case of J.R.D. Management Corp.  v.  Eimicke,  148  App.
          Div. 2d 610, 539 N.Y.S. 2d 667 (2nd Dept.  1989)  prohibits  this
          agency from considering any part of the rental history  prior  to
          April 1, 1980 and that, when  consideration  is  so  limited,  it
          will be found that the overcharges are considerably less.
          In response to the tenant's petition the  owner  urges  that  the
          tenant is complaining only about the  overcharges  to  the  prior
          tenant and, since those overcharges occurred more  than  2  years
          prior to the filing of the tenant's  complaint,  this  agency  is
          prohibited from imposing treble damages based on them.

          In response to the  owner's  submissions  the  tenant  urges,  in
          substance,  that,  even  if  the  J.R.D.   Management   Case   is
          applicable, there are still substantial overcharges.

          The Commissioner, upon reconsideration after reopening, is of the 
          opinion that the prior order  and  opinion  of  October  1,  1990
          should be revoked  and  both  petitions  granted  in  part.   The
          Commissioner notes that the tenant's petition is, in fact,  being
          granted in part even though the total amount  of  overcharges  is
          being reduced as discussed more fully infra.

          With respect to the owner's petition, the Commissioner is of  the
          opinion   that   the   rationale   of   the   above-noted   prior

          CH 220059-RT
          determinations as to  the  owner's  contentions  regarding  rents
          charged by the prior owner to prior tenants  remains  valid  even
          though the prior order, as a whole, is being revoked.

          However,  the  Commissioner  feels  constrained  to  hold   that,
          pursuant to the J.R.D. Management Case, the April 1, 1980 rent to 
          $325.00 charged a prior tenant should be taken as the  base  rent
          for purposes  of  computing  the  initial  and  subsequent  legal
          regulated  rents  of  the  complainant   tenant   and   resulting

          With respect to the tenant's petition, the Commissioner is of the 
          opinion that it can reasonably be  interpreted  as  referring  to
          overcharges relating to himself as well as the prior  tenant  and
          that the rationale of the  prior  determination  imposing  treble
          damages also remains valid although the amount thereof is  herein
          reduced and the prior order, as a whole, is being revoked.

          Rents  and  overcharges  have  been  recalculated  on  the  chart
          attached and made part hereof.

          Because this order concerns lawful rents only  through  June  30,
          1988, the owner is again cautioned to adjust subsequent rents  to
          amounts no greater than that determined by this  order  plus  any
          lawful increases, and to register any adjusted  rents  with  this
          order  and  opinion  being  given  as  the  explanation  for  the

          This order may, upon the expiration of the period in which the 
          owner may institute a proceeding pursuant to Article  78  of  the
          Civil Practice  Law  and  Rules,  be  filed  and  enforced  as  a

          THEREFORE,  in  accordance  with  the  provisions  of  the   Rent
          Stabilization Law and Code, it is

          ORDERED, that the  Commissioner's  prior  order  and  opinion  of
          October 1, 1990 be, and the same hereby is, revoked;  that  these
          petitions be, and the same hereby are, granted in part; and  that
          the order of the Rent Administrator be, and the same  hereby  is,
          modified in accordance with this order and opinion.


                                          JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                          Acting Deputy Commissioner


          CH 220059-RT


TenantNet Home | TenantNet Forum | New York Tenant Information
DHCR Information | DHCR Decisions | Housing Court Decisions | New York Rent Laws
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Contact Us

Subscribe to our Mailing List!
Your Email      Full Name